Tag Archives: family

My fork in the road in Austin…


Our family traveled to Austin, TX over Easter weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed the state’s capitol city and sight seeing. There was one small moment during our trip, when everyone was tired, cranky and just like every normal family… a moment of crabbiness shined through all of us. While we were driving, I saw this beautiful field of wildflowers and a path and asked my husband to pull over. While the rest of the fam stayed in the truck, I decided to take a stroll down this path ALL BY MYSELF πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ. (All caps is on purpose 😜).

This time alone was brief, but the view was beautiful and my conversation with the Lord was just what I needed. 

I cried out to the Lord to help my family in those moments of weakness, when we are tired and hungry and allow the flesh of selfishness creep in. I prayed to the Lord to help my husband lead our family well and daily become more and more the spiritual leader in our “home on wheels”. I begged God to help me raise my children in a peaceful home (I know we will still be loud πŸ™‰) but I want my tone with them to be peace filled. I want our tribe to love each other well and to speak in kindness. 

As I walked along the pond and prayed (for my 2 minutes of alone time πŸ˜‰)… I turned the corner to head back to the truck and to my little family that I adore… and saw this scene. I had to stop and snap a photo. What I saw was a fork in the road. And in that moment I had a choice to make.

We all have a choice…

we can choose the desires of our flesh or walk in the Spirit.

Often times, we only think this way when we have a BIG decision to make like taking a new career path, deciding to sell our home, making a large purchase, should we sell everything and travel the US in an RV,  etc.

But really, this scene occurs in the day to day, mundane, tiny detailed moments of our lives.

When our kids are arguing… we can choose peace or yelling (Phil. 4:8).

When anxiety consumes us… we can choose to allow it to control or claim Phil.4:6.

When people say hurtful things to us… we can believe the lies or know who we are in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

and the list goes on and on and on in every single fork in the road throughout our day.

In the big decision moments and the tiny ones… will you follow Him, allow Him to restore your soul…

as He leads you on…

the path of righteousness…

for His name sake (Psalm 23:3)?


And while you’re here… enjoy these pics of our trip to Austin…


I recently read there is a couple who travels in an RV and paints these greeting murals on walls in cities throughout the US… I have no idea if they painted this one… but if you ever find yourself in Austin, I would for sure stop for a great photo op…


When we were in Amarillo, TX, we took a can of spray paint and headed to Cadillac ranch (google it, such a cool place)… I had no idea Austin had a similar area… they call it Grafitti Hill. From what I read, this was an old condominium establishment that never materialized and over time it turned into an art district…


Take your own can of paint… and if you forget, there are usually street vendors there with cans for sell (and an ice cream truck). 

Our kids have checked off many state capitols during our 2 years of travel… so stopping by Austin’s capitol building was a must. You can even take a tour of the building… but we stopped by on Easter so obv offices were closed. 


Just outside the city (about 20 miles) is a fabulous restaurant called The Oasis. The drive through “Texas hill country” as it is referred to, was breathtaking. I seriously felt as if we had left the state of Texas. The restaurant is one of those… you won’t believe it until you see it kind of places…. but here’s a few pics of our time there and the beauty as it overlooks Lake Travis. If you go, be sure to drive around and check out the gorgeous mansions nearby. 


If you are in Austin and are looking for a great church, we recommend, The Austin Stone Community Church . I asked FB land for church recommendations in the area and had many options posted… we decided to go with this church because it was the closest to our hotel. The sermon was on point and the church was alive! They have several campuses, we attended the main campus in downtown, Austin. Check it out if you are ever near by and want to hear the Word preached in a powerful way. The lead pastor, Dr. Matt Carter preached the day we attended and was fabulous! 

If you are in Austin in early Spring, Google wildflowers near Austin and take a drive to see the beautiful flowers and the Texas state flower… the bluebonnet/ Lupinus texensis. 

Texas does everything big… and the rule applies to their wild flowers! Here’s a few pics of them and my little princess posing in a patch…

Warning… if you do make the wild flowers a photo opp… make sure you check the ground for ants and snakes. Thankfully we didn’t see any… but was thankful for the pre-warning. 


The yellow and red flowers (Indian blankets/ Gaillardia pulchella)were found on the campus of St. Edwards University. 
Speaking of campuses… hello… we had to stop and see the University of Texas! Hook ’em horns! Thankfully my hubby wasn’t wearing his Baylor hat at the time ;). 


And last but not least… we waited on Congress Ave Bridge (with a couple hundred other curious minds) to watch the famous bats come out at dusk… sorry I don’t have pics of the actual bats, but trust me, there were thousands of them… but I suppose they were full on Easter candy and didn’t come out at dusk when the photo opp would have been perfect… it was really dark when they came out so the pics just didn’t turn out. As the story goes, a colony of about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live under the bridge and come out at dusk for their evening meal between the months of late March to November.  I’ll post a pic of us waiting on the bridge to watch. Other viewing options are the  lawn just below the bridge or in a boat on Lady Bird Lake, which flows from the nearby Colorado River. Many people observe from their personal boats and kayaks, rent them or take a boat tour on the Lone Star Cruise line or Capitol Cruises to watch. It is for sure a sight to see… although we had never even heard of this concept until we started our travel life and began following other traveling families online. 


We really enjoyed our quick trip to Austin. There are signs, tshirts and souvenirs everywhere that says “Keep Austin weird.” Well, Austin made the word weird a positive one for us, as we for sure enjoyed our time in this artistically colorful, eclectic city!

A blessing in Cheyenne…

I love the idea of community. 

The book of Acts explains in great detail the type of community I long for. 

When Peter addressed the crowd of followers on the day of Pentacost, 3,000 believers were added on that day… Talk about a mega church plant overnight!

3K heard the Word, believed and decided to be followers of Christ. Now that’s church.  The number was astounding… But while studying the birth of the Christian church from the book of Acts, what filled me with joy more than the grand number was the huge sense of community. 

Acts 2:42-47: β€œThey devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. 

In the beginning, the idea of community was established. It’s such a beautiful thing. I have always been intrigued by other cultures and their sense of community. During my years as  a pediatric oncology nurse, I had the blessing to really get to know several Hispanic families as I cared for their sick little ones.  They always had a large family and community to help them during thier time of need. 

And now that we are a traveling family, we have had the opportunity to engage in many various communities across the USA. I am forever grateful for this season in our lives. Although community looks different for us now that we travel, perhaps we aren’t able to engage in the same community on a daily basis, we are blessed to meet so many people throughout the country and establish community whether we are. 

You may have read this before in a previous blog or on social media, but one thing I am constantly praying over our family is that we live out Matthew 5:16 (shine His light) everywhere we go and that we have open hearts and open hands. I never want us to miss an opportunity to be a blessing or to be blessed. If our heart and hands are constantly open, the Lord is able to work in our midst and allow us to shine His light to every community we embark upon. 

Having this mindset has allowed us to invite a homeless man, Mr. Jack to a Chris Tomlin album release party at our church in Atlanta and watch as he worshipped the Lord with tears streaming down his face. 

We have been able to buy dinners for people whom we felt we needed to in a restaurant, we have been able to pour the love of Jesus to other families and invite kids to church that we have met at the campsites.  My daughter and I even had the opportunity to lead a precious little one to Christ! Open hearts and open hands… Community! Community can happen wherever you are planted, rather you have a large tribe or a small one and regardless of the amount of time you have invested into an area. 

Last month, our family drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming to spend a day at Frontier Days.

I highly recommend this fun event if you are in the area next July. 

And even there, we desired to live out Matthew 5:16 with open hearts and open hands. Except this time… Instead of striving to bless others… We were blessed beyond measure…

  
This beautiful little one filled my heart with such JOY! 

As I was ordering my Indian taco (because everyone raved about the Indian tacos at Frontier days… And it did not disappoint), this little sweetie came up to me and said “I like your necklace. I like your shirt and hair and jeans and shoes.” Wow! Talk about making someone feel good. Then she goes on to say, “Girl, you are just gorg…e…ous!” With the gorgeous drawn out and exaggerated. I thanked her, we giggled a bit and I begged her to come home with me for my daily dose of much needed encouragement. 

Throughout the day, we continued to encounter this precious one and she would always say to her mom, “Look! There’s my best friend!” She was such a doll.  When we met once again near the petting zoo and horse stables, I had the best conversation with her and her mom about being a blessing to others. She for sure blessed my socks off and filled my love tank that day with all of her compliments.  I was able to share Psalm 139 (being fearfully and wonderfully made) with her and explained how that scripture was speaking of her. As I walked away from this precious one, after numerous encounters throughout the day, my heart was filled with JOY!

We had many other beautiful encounters like this one during our day at Frontier Days. I will share those a little later in another blog post. 

I love that church can happen anywhere you are.  As followers of Christ, we are church… And church can even happen in the middle of Frontier Days in the middle of Cheyenne, Wyoming! 

Here are a few pics from our fun day…

   
    
    
    
 

Overcoming fears…

From the moment he was old enough to be afraid, my first born had fears.  

When he was 2 and in preschool, he would go to the directors office when his preschool teacher vacuumed after lunch because he was afraid of the loud noise.

When someone pulled the fire alarm at church and his children’s class didn’t follow procedure like he had been taught (to go outside), a fear of fires was born in him. 

When we had to grab the children and head to the basement in the middle of the night because of a tornado warning, a fear of storms was created. 

Fears

We all have them

We can’t deny them

And the way our current world seems to be filled with such darkness on most days, fears are legit and understandable.

But

Can we allow them to lord over us? 

Can we use them as a crutch to never enjoy life to the fullest? 

Can we hide and live in fear forever?

Is that what God wants for us? 

Did God create us to fear the things of this world? 

NO! 

Were we made for so much more? 

Does God tell us to fear Him and nothing else? 

Does God have greater plans for our lives than to succumb to our fears? 

YES! 

  This is a picture of our family at the very top of Pike’s Peak. And my son… My first born who has many fears… With the fear of heights being one of those… Is in the photo with us! What an astounding accomplishment! We were so proud of him to come with us as we traveled the 14K feet in elevation and the fact that he even got out of the truck and walked around by choice, was a miracle in itself. 

    

Jonah, we are so proud of you! 

He has come so far! Not only has he overcome his fear of loud noises, fires and heights… He is daily growing in the Lord and is trusting His life with the Creator of the Heavens and Earth! 

The Lord has big plans for my boy’s life! I love watching the Lord pursue him and draw him unto Himself.

Just this past Winter, we saw a first hand glimpse of God doing just that. 

We were visiting my husbands parents and my best friend in Nashville and spent a day exploring downtown Franklin, TN. 

We had a beautiful encounter with God in this store called Philanthropy. God was showing off for my son and it was wonderful for this mama to have a front row seat. 

When we walked into the store, Jonah noticed this metal cross. And without a doubt in my mind, and regardless the cost, I knew we had to buy it for him. 

You see, he is somewhat of a private individual… And like many men, his walk with the Lord is somewhat private. Now my second born son, we call him “preacher Jake” because he has proudly worn a cross necklace for years and is quick to want to purchase a cross or anything else that displays his faith in Jesus. 

Jonah, on the other hand is more private. We know he loves the Lord and has a personal relationship with Jesus, but he isn’t as quick to “display” it. 

So when he eyed this cross in Philanthropy, carried it around the store, and continuously spoke of how fond he was of it… We knew we would be purchasing it. 

During our time in the store, we had a lovely conversation with a precious woman who worked there, and spent a few minutes writing prayer requests on their prayer wall.

   

After spending time in the store, my husband went to the register to pay for the cross for my son Jonah. And that was the moment we witnessed the Lord show off for my son. The precious lady that we spent so much time talking with, was also the cashier, and she told us, she felt as if the Lord wanted her to purchase this cross for our family. 

Wow! I was in tears! She had no idea the fears my son carried with him, the shyness of his heart and that his wanting this cross was such a big deal. She didn’t know, but God did! God loves my son so much and through this cross displayed His love!  

(Below is a photo of Jonah and the sweet woman who paid for his cross). 

  

And to this day, my son has this special cross displayed over his bunk in our camper. It is a beautiful reminder of Gods love and perfect plan for each of our lives! 

  
Jesus paid it all…

He paid it all so that we won’t have to 

Worry

Doubt

Live in anxiety

Have fear

Jesus paid it all…

So that we can be set free

Walk in faith

Trust and obey

And just like my son on that beautiful afternoon on top of Pike’s Peak…

Jesus paid it all so that we all can be an

OVERCOMER! 

  

Thank you Jesus for creating my son to be an overcomer so that he can enjoy the beautiful display of your splendor! 

And for your enjoyment, here are a few pics from our drive up Pikes Peak… 

  
    
    
   
  

In the middle of nowhere Texas

If you are wondering if there really are any good people left in this world. There are.If you are wondering if God really does answer prayer, work miracles, and sometimes answers those prayers in a matter of minutes? He does.

Yesterday was living proof of both statements above. We have been traveling the past 4 days from Jeff’s previous job in Florida to his next assignment in Colorado. 

As we were driving through middle of nowhere TX, like nothing but a bull and an oil rig in sight, our check engine light came on and our car started smoking a little. 😁

Paul6 went into holy hands raised in the air, Lord we need a miracle, kind of praying. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸ»

We were able to pull off the interstate and onto a side road before it completely went kaput. We just so “happened” (coincidence not) to pull behind a family who had pulled over to check their boat trailer. 

And it just so happened that something told the wife of the family that they needed to pull over (coincidence not). God did that for us! 

And it just so happened (coincidence not) the husband of the family works on cars for a living. He took one look and saw it was a heater hose that broke which was causing antifreeze to leak and our car to over heat and smoke. They cut the hose, wrapped it with mechanical tape and cable ties, added antifreeze and water and we were good to go. 

We headed to the next one horse town and are now at an auto parts store to get a better hose… And little did we know, the family followed us the entire way and the husband is now helping Jeff work on the Yukon at the parts store. 

    
Yes. There are good people in the world and God still answers prayers. He worked a miracle right before our eyes today and what a testimony of Gods provision and protection for our kids to witness. Thank you Jesus for Mr. Cody from TX. May you bless him for blessing us.

In the name of Jesus, we will make it all the way to Colorado without another problem and then… Will be buying ourselves a truck that is actually capable of pulling this house on wheels of ours. 

 There are so many “ups” to this adventurous life… But I always want to make sure to share those “downs” too. But either way we will choose JoY!

Amd this signed soared high over the auto parts store…

  

And even today, when we had to pull over because the Yukon was overheating, the kids made memories and explored. Regardless the circumstances… We must choose JoY! 

   
   

  

Kragle

My kids loved the Lego movie when it came out several years ago… In the movie, the dad used “Kragle” to hold the Legos together. Kragle was really KRAZY GLUE with several of the letters rubbed off to form the word KRAGLE. Our family still uses that word quite often in jokes and conversation. 

I was reminded of that fun word the other day while studying the Nicene Creed with IF Equip.  (Go to Ifequip.com or get the IF Gathering App for more info and to participate in this wonderful online study). We studied that through Jesus all things were made. Colossians 1 speaks of Jesus holding all things together (verse 17). And my mind automatically went to the thought that Jesus is our Kragle! 

Jesus holds our wounds together

Jesus holds our marriages together

Jesus holds our families together

Jesus holds our emotions together

Jesus holds our hearts together

Jesus holds us

Jesus strengthens us

Jesus forms us

And 

Jesus is our KRAGLE

In Him ALL things hold together! 

  
When you feel like you don’t have it all together, you can’t put things into place on your own and life is shattering around you… Let Jesus be the glue that binds everything together in perfect unity and love! 

If you’ve been around the blog for long, you know we are a traveling family and our current location just so happens to be close enough to LegoLand that we frequent there quite often. So, just because, I thought I would share a few pics from some of our fun days at LegoLand!    

   
    
   

  
 And we even had some good friends from Georgia come to town, so we were able to enjoy Lego Land with them!
          
  

    And speaking of my devotional time and how Jesus is our Kragel… I thought it was only fitting that we ended that day at Legoland… And snuck over to the Legoland hotel lobby. πŸ˜‰ and I’m so glad we did because a little 3 yo boy from another country fell, busted his head and his poor, frantic mom couldn’t find dad or keep up with her other son.

So glad we snuck over and was in the right place at the right time so I could help out… And thankfully, with just a little “Kragel” the little guy was fine!

  

  

    

And as the saying goes at Lego Land… 

“Everything is awesome!”

   

little heather

“Mama, why does everybody call me little heather?” Says my mini me.

“Because you look just like me, little one.” Is always my reply.

 
   
 She looks like me

She acts a lot like me

Along with opening a bakery, she wants to be a nurse when she grows up because that’s what I am. 

She wants to homeschool her children one day, travel in an RV one day because she wants to be the exact same mommy that I am. 

She is my mini me.

As most of you know, we are a traveling family and travel the US in our RV with my husband and his job as an independent insurance adjuster, and along with that travel, we have visited many churches on Sunday mornings… And every time we go pick up my daughter, almost without checking our bracelets/number for child verification, they say “Oh, I know exactly which daughter is yours!”

God knit her together in my womb (Psalm 139:13-14) to look a lot like me. 

It is so much fun having a mini me.

I have three boys and 1 girl and am blessed beyond measure that she was “made in my image!” 

I have been studying the Nicene Creed for the past 3 weeks with IF Gathering. I have absolutely loved this study. (More info on this ministry and their new phone app is at the bottom of this post). 

Today, the lesson was about Jesus being from God, the Father.

The Nicene Creed says that He is, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.” 

This is what the Word tells us about Jesus:

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”  (Hebrews 1:3)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15)

The Gospel of John tells us that whoever sees Jesus, sees God. And that Jesus says what the Father commands him to say. (John 12:44-50). 

When I spent time this morning basking in and studying these truths, I couldn’t help but picture Jesus saying some of the same things as he walked on Earth about God the Father as my mini me says about me.  With the main difference being that Jesus was and is God the Father.

  • Jesus walked where His Father instructed Him to walk.
  • Jesus spoke the words His father instructed Him to speak.
  • Jesus looked like and acted just like His Father because He was made in the image of His Father. 

  

And just like my little girl looks like me, and wants to act and be like me…

Jesus looks like and acts like His Father.

And by this I am encouraged to strive to be, look and act like Jesus!

  • When people look at me I want them to see Jesus.
  • I want the words I speak to bring life not death, to build up and not tear down. 
  • I want to follow the path my Father has prepared for me in advance by following in His footsteps.

Jesus was made in God’s image and that’s the image I want to strive for.

Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and I want to shine the same glory.

Jesus: God from God, light from light, true God from true God.

… Made in the image of the Father…

And for more info on IF:Equip…

Go to http://www.ifequip.com to receive the studies online 

or download their brand new app (IF GATHERING APP) on your iPhone or android! 

IF:equip is a wonderful online community that helps you “gather around God’s word every day to be equipped to live out your calling.”  

 
And here’s a pic of me and my mini me with all of our boys!    


 

BUT GODΒ 

  
 A world that serves many gods

A world where religion and politics collide

A world where there is hurt, pain, loss, doubt and fear 

BUT GOD

God came down, to rescue us. 

One

God

The only real and true God, our Father sent His son as Savior of the world.

BUT GOD

One 

God

Jesus is our hope, our help, our redeemer.

BUT GOD

In this world there is trouble. In a world where sin abounds, a sacrifice had to be made. A brave act of courage and sacrificial love had to occur in order to exchange a life of sin and bondage for a life of freedom and redemption. 

BUT GOD

God sent Jesus to die for our sins.

This act of love, is an act like no other

Who could completely understand it? Who could imagine doing the same? Who could fathom this type of sacrifice…

The sacrifice of death… On a cross.

GOD

Oh, 

BUT GOD could. 

Only God could love this much

Only God could give this much

Only God could exchange sin and death for freedom and forever life.

  
Death

We tend to make death a time of sorrow and mourning. A time where one wears black to show respect and how they feel.

BUT GOD

God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world!

His death is beauty, and on Good Friday, we rejoice because we know what is coming.

BUT GOD

Because of God, our Father, because of Jesus, His Son and because of the Holy Spirit who is alive and active…

He was pierced for our transgressions

He suffered with no shame

He loved like no other

He was carried to the grave

BUT GOD

BUT GOD

He didn’t stay in the grave. Death could NOT hold Him down…

He came.

He conquered.

He died.

And He ROSE to LIFE so that we could live forever!!! 

   
    
   

       

Hallelujah!

It

Is

Finished! 

He is Alive!

Happy Easter from #paul6adventure